What I Used Everyday on My Mixed Animal Rotation

The time I’ve waited for these past 3 years has finally come, I am in my clinical rotations! I am so excited to take you all along with me during this next year while I finish out veterinary school and explore so many different areas of veterinary medicine. To start, I want to share a peek into my clinical bag I used during my mixed animal ambulatory rotation. Ambulatory is just fancy wording for the clinic works via mobile trucks, rather than out of one stationary clinic building to see patients, and mixed animals means they see everything from cows, to pigs, to goats, to alpacas, to horses, to chickens. I spent two weeks with this rotation and spent the majority of my time driving around with the vets as they saw patients. This meant I had to keep anything I might need with me for the ride or I didn’t have it until the end of the day.

To start, we have to remember I’m here in AZ, so my top items were a giant water bottle (plus an extra even larger bottle for backup that my dad provided), sunscreen to keep my neck/face/arms protected, and Liquid IV electrolytes for the particularly warm days when water wasn’t enough.

Next, we have the more obvious veterinary supplies like my coveralls, palpation shoulder guard, and headlamp for dairy days. Quick tip here; I brought my own brush to clean my boots and kept trash bags with me to put my dirty coveralls/shoulder guard/boots in at the end of the morning so they didn’t stink up the truck. I also kept a thermometer, my stethoscope, and pens with me in case there was a medical case I could listen to or practice temping.

I discovered quickly also on the dairy days that makeup and disinfecting wipes were very helpful to have. You might think they don’t sound necessary for cows, right? You would be correct, I needed these to clean off myself because mud and other things literally can end up anywhere while palpating cows and you don’t want to go through the rest of the day like that.

Lastly, I kept the basics like my nametag, my mask (a fun cow print one of course), chapstick, lots of snacks (along with a full lunch in my fav lunchbox), and some hard candy to beat the midday slump.

This might sound like a lot of stuff, but honestly I used all of it frequently throughout the two weeks. Better to be over prepared than underprepared anyway! While I’m onto my shelter medicine rotation for these next two weeks, I really enjoyed being able to spend time seeing mixed animal medicine. I have always loved pigs and the occasional cow, but this time showed me opportunities I had never even thought of like field surgeries, reportable disease testing, production medicine, cryotherapy, as well as the things I expected like wellness visits, sick pets, and vaccinations. It was the best mix of practicing skills I was comfortable with and learning about brand new things.

Check back soon to hear about how my other clinical rotations go & my other must-have supplies if you’re prepping for your own rotations!

XOXO, Cierra

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